Getting Graphic is a semi-sort-of-irregular collection of our favorite BIG real estate-related images(s).
Inspired by Greenspanspeak, and transitioning to Bernankespeak, the Wall Street Journal continues a well-executed tradition of graphically interpreting what the Fed really means.
Inflation is a concern but they don’t seem as intent on raising rates indefinitely. August is looking pretty definite as far as rate increases go.
The federal funds rate has been raised 17 consecutive times since June 2004 by 25 basis points and is at its highest level in 5 years [WaPo].
As a relief to many, the FOMC specifically recognized that housing does play a significant role:
Recent indicators suggest that economic growth is moderating from its quite strong pace earlier this year, partly reflecting a gradual cooling of the housing market and the lagged effects of increases in interest rates and energy prices.
I still contend that the full thrust of the cooling of the housing market is not fully borne out in the stats and we are headed for more economic weakness in 2007. The use of the dreaded “R” word will accelerate. Merrill Lynch economists say there is now a 40% chance of a recession in 2007 [Calculated Risk].
That could mean rate cuts next year but thats only good news to housing if job creation doesn’t deteriorate too much.